14 December 2012

"It's Comin' on Christmas, They're Cuttin' Down Trees ...." -- Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell

"Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know."

"A little love and affection, in everything you do,
Will make the world a better place
With or without you."
-- Neil Young

Combine those two principles, those two observations, those two insights. In reflecting upon them, I find a working theory about why the women in my life can both bring me so much joy, while also leaving me clinging to the dying embers of a painful relationship.

And so it is with the Christmas season, for those who partake. Christmas in America carries with it a lot of baggage, some of it worth cherishing, some of it an almost unbearable burden. But Sister Chödrön reminds us the season has things to teach us. And since the Mayans were wrong about existence ending this week, Christmas won't be going anywhere, remaining firmly rooted in western culture. Rooted there to teach us things we need to know.

And so I come to this year's Christmas song, one that does not fall within the traditional Christmas songbook. I offer River, a song about a young Canadian woman exploring her feelings, at Christmas time, about a shattered relationship.

I think the insights offered here, one by a Bhuddist nun and two by Canadian singer/songwriters, have much to offer us this holiday season. I hope "my aim is true."


whiteray said...

Good post. I appreciate Joni's work - and the thoughtfulness of her lyrics - more each year (although some of her most musically adventurous work remains difficult for me to access). I think there's a corrolary to the first quote: Nothing ever arrives in our lives until we are ready to learn from it.

Paco Malo said...

Thanks for your comment and the great quote, whiteray.

Patti said...

Well, I am signed in to my Blogger account, so my comment should go through this time.

This is a very poignant---and pretty---song. I had never heard it before, so thanks for sharing.

I love the Neil Young quote. You know how I feel about kindness, love, and affection. Sometimes, though, it seems as though there are relatively few people in society who "get" this truth and that the love and kindness they spill forth is not, in fact, making the world a better place. (Case in point, Connecticut yesterday.) However, that tragedy and others like it notwithstanding, I continue to believe in kindness, love, and affection...and in treating others the way I want to be treated.

Paco Malo said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this post, Patti. I find great wisdom in your observations about the Neil Young quote from his album "Greendale" (2003).

Modernaire said...

♥ Lovely.

Paco Malo said...

Thanks, Jolene. Glad you liked it.

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